Volume 23 Number 1
Thursday, 12 January 2012 10:43

By Orlando Gravador

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), with its project to help eliminate societal divide to facilitate peace in the community, conducted an Inter-Faith Youth Camp in Bukidnon in the island of Mindanao last October 19-26, 2009 to start the dialogue and bonding among different cultures that exist in the island.

The said youth camp was held at Edlimar Farm Resort in Maramag, Bukidnon and was participated in by 26 young people from the Christian, Moro and Lumad communities. Its aim was to develop knowledge and skills for effective exchanges and dialogue among the participants.

Different topics were discussed at the youth camp concerning human rights and related issues. All of the participants are college students who came from Davao, Marawi, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon and Cotabato Provinces.

Ms. Rita Melecio of TFDP-Mindanao gave a discussion on the basic concepts and principles of human rights.  This was followed by an input on Christianity and Human Rights by Fr. Jonathan Tianero. He emphasized the biblical basis of human rights and stressed how human rights should be practiced in the Christian way of life.
The following day, topics discussed were inputs on Islam and Human Rights by Hadji Gapor Ahmad. The issue on the Bangsa Moro Juridical Entity – Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was one of the highlights of the discussion. The indigenous people (IPs) raised their reservation on the issue having the fear of losing their ancestral domain. Hadji Ahmad clarified the issue assuring the IP participants that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) respects their right to ancestral domain.
Ms. Loreta Sol Dinlayan talked about the indigenous peoples’ traditions and human rights, wherein the participants had a leveling off on their understanding of the traditions and roots of the Filipino culture.
On the third day, after the discussion and input on human rights, the participants underwent a basic writing workshop. The students were given an exercise on free writing. The final output was to write whatever realization they had during the previous days’ activities.  Each of the participants was asked to share to the group what they wrote.
The youth participants also underwent workshops on theater arts, visual arts, and basic photography.  They were made to choose which workshop group they want to be part of, depending on their interest.
The workshops lasted for two days. After which, using the skills and the learnings they gained during the basic course on human rights and basic art workshop, the youth participants were asked, using their preferred medium, to produce works of art with the theme “Panawagan ng Mindanaoan, Hinaing ng Kabataan”.  Some of them collaborated in writing a script, others rehearsed for a dance-play and the visual artists produced their works of art.
The photographers helped in documenting the activities.
All of their efforts were used for their output in the production showcased on the last night of the Youth Camp.
A video of their presentation was also produced to be shown in different schools in Mindanao. The artworks were exhibited.


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